When Circuits Misfire

Don’t you just hate it when your circuits misfire? Maybe there is just too much going on in your head, the signals aren’t clear, or the messages are conflicting with each other and you can’t move forward. Or backward. Or at all. I believe this is called cognitive dissonance.

A few weeks ago I was driving on the interstate in rush hour traffic. I was anxious to get home so I could let the dogs out. My husband was out of town and I was feeling guilty that I was gone so long. On the other hand, I was feeling quite satisfied that I had a very productive day and feeling good about my accomplishments.

As my conflicting thoughts swirled around my mind, suddenly something felt terribly wrong. Confused, I looked down at the dash and saw that all of my indicator lights were on. My car had stalled, right in the middle of rush hour traffic!

I did what every responsible, mature, experienced driver would do. I totally freaked out. But even in my panic, somewhere deep in the recesses of my brain my mind went into autopilot. Put on the flashers, test the brakes (which weren’t working), scream like a banshee, put the car in PARK and try to restart it. The grinding noise from the engine told me that was definitely not the thing to do.

More screaming, put the car in NEUTRAL and try again. Miracle of miracles, it started. Even more miraculous was that no one hit me, nor did I plow into anyone else. I drove the rest of the way home without further incident, and I didn’t even cry until I hugged my dogs.

Our mechanic checked it out and discovered that 2 internal sensors weren’t communicating well. Each one was sending the other conflicting messages. In the words of my mechanic, since they didn’t know what to do they both freaked out and completely shut down. Huh. Cognitive dissonance.

Our mind and brain work much the same way. Sometimes the circuits get conflicting messages about what we really want in life and how we’re going to get there. It’s not that the circuits misfire. It’s just that they can’t process the information it’s receiving, and shuts down.

It was a powerful lesson for me and a reminder to slow down and proceed with caution when life gets too hectic. After all, I don’t want to overload my system. And I certainly don’t want to be rendered incapacitated in this road of life. Ever. Do you?